NEWSPOLITICAL

EC fixes June 27 for Assin North by-election

The Electoral Commission (EC) has fixed Tuesday, June 27, 2023 for the by-election in the Assin North Constituency of the Central Region.

This follows a unanimous decision by the Supreme Court on Wednesday (May 17) declaring as unconstitutional, the election of James Gyakye Quayson as the National Democratic Congress’ Member of Parliament (MP) for that constituency.

A statement issued and signed yesterday by the EC Chairperson, Jean Mensa, said nominations would be received at the Assin North District Office of the Commission from Monday, June 12, 2023 to Wednesday, June 14, 2023 between 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., and 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day.

The statement said interested candidates could download the nomination forms from the Commission’s website (www.ec.gov.gh) from June 1, 2023.

Alternatively, the statement said, “a prospective candidate may personally deliver or cause to be delivered on his/her behalf by either the proposer or seconder of his/her nomination, the completed nomination forms to the Returning Officer at the Assin North District Office of the Commission, on the dates and times stated above”.

Fees

The statement added that the filing fee for the election is GH¢ 10,000 per candidate.

Additionally, the EC announced that all nomination forms should be delivered in quadruplicate.

“The nomination forms for each candidate shall be witnessed by the signature or mark of two registered voters, as proposer and seconder, and supported by 18 other registered voters in the constituency as assenting to the nominations.

“The nomination forms shall also be endorsed with the candidate’s consent to the nomination.

“A Candidate shall at the time of submitting his/her completed nomination forms, provide the Returning Officer with two copies of a recent post card (bust sized) photograph against a red background, showing his/her full face and ears,” the statement added.

SC’s decision

In its judgment in the case of Michael Ankomah Nimfah vs James Gyakye Quayson, the Electoral Commission (EC) and the Attorney-General on May 17, 2023, the apex court ordered Parliament to expunge Mr Quayson’s name as a sitting MP from its records.

The court held that the whole process leading to the election of Mr Quayson– filing of nomination forms, the election itself and swearing-in–were all in violation of Article 94(2)(a) of the 1992 Constitution, which bars a person with dual citizenship from contesting as an MP.

It was the considered view of the court that as of the time Mr Quayson filed his nomination forms in October 2020 to contest the Assin North seat, he had not renounced his Canadian citizenship and, therefore, was not qualified per Article 94(2)(a) of the Constitution.

In view of that, the court further held that the EC also violated Article 94(2)(a) of the Constitution when it permitted Mr Quayson to contest the election.

Parliament

Following the judgment, Parliament wrote to the EC to notify it of the vacancy in the Assin North Constituency.

The Clerk to Parliament, Cyril Kwabena Nsiah, signed the letter dated May 29, 2023, which was addressed to the Chairperson of the EC, Jean Mensa.

The notification, he said, had been necessitated by the judgment of the Supreme Court (SC) dated May 17, 2023.

He, therefore, requested the EC Chairperson to take the appropriate consequential action as required by law

 

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